Tuesday, October 30, 2007

IS THIS NECESSARY?

Predictably, the non-inclusion of Dravid in the squad for the first and second one-dayers against Pakistan has evoked a strong response. Every supporter of Dravid is now able to find a personal enemy in the Chief of the Selection Committee, Dilip Vengsarkar. This is similar to the situation when Saurav Ganguly was axed during the tenure of Kiran More.

The news channels have gone to great lengths to explain the possibility of a conspiracy theory. Polls have been conducted to show that Dravid should have been included in the squad. Former players and cricket administrators have joined the bandwagon. In short, the decision of the selectors has not been received too well.

It is true that Dravid was totally out of sorts in the six matches against Australia. But that does not give the selectors any licence to make Dravid sit at home considering his past record. In both cases, statistics have been bandied about.

In the midst of all this shouting and chest beating, we have to remember that this squad is to play only the first two matches. A different squad is to be selected for the other matches. That may bring Dravid into the squad after all.

There is of course, very little logic in bringing Virender Sehwag to the team. Sehwag scored only one 50 in the Challenger trophy and he is no youngster as well. Sehwag’s record in the limited overs game is not impressive while his test record is excellent, especially, in the context of Pakistan.

When everyone talks about the Australian methods, it is time for the selectors to think about the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Ganguly. Both have stellar achievements as far as one-dayers are concerned, but their match winning ability is suspect. The Aussies dropped the Waugh twins when they could have easily walked into any of the international teams. Vengsarkar needs to apply the same principles to everyone.

I am still not sure whether Dravid has been dropped or rested.

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